College Green in Westminster was awash with purple on Saturday. Protesters, wearing colours associated with the Suffragette movement, gathered near Parliament to campaign for a change in the voting system. A series of rallies took place simultaneously across the UK, including Liverpool, York, and Edinburgh. The protesters ended the demonstration by picketing Downing Street.
Although the coalition government has agreed to a referendum on implementing an Alternative Vote (AV) system, campaigners believe this does not go far enough. Among those making speeches at the rally were former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris, and comedian Mark Thomas.
The demonstration attracted many first time protestors including Lewisham resident Georgian O’Callaghan. She was enthusiastic about the experience, comparing it to a festival.
“It’s got that festival atmosphere, but it’s got a lot more purpose than a festival would have. It’s for the future of the country so to see people here from the little tiny toddlers to older people…it’s a great atmosphere and hopefully it will make a difference.”
Listen to Sarah Corke’s report about the protest:
Watch a slide show with audio of the protest:
Additional material and slide show pictures by Isabel Minter.